skepticsociety.co.uk
Google diversity memo and talk of biology | Skeptic Society Magazine
Everybody seems to have an opinion about Google’s recent sacking of its malware software engineer James Damore for circulating a memo arguing that women and men are suitable for different roles because they are intrinsically different. The debate so far has centred mainly on the pros and cons of diversity programmes, which partly sparked Damore to construct his document, and whether Google was right to fire Damore. While there have been some less vocal comments about the biological differences Damore referred to – ranging from finding them “spot on” to “wrong” – his assertions haven’t been challenged much on the actual neuroscience behind his basic assumptions. Is there any truth to the idea that we are all destined by our biology? To understand this, let’s take a look at the most recent advances in the field. The memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”, was sent to an internal company network and criticised the company’s diversity initiatives. It quoted psychological studies, Wikipedia entries and media reports to argue its case. It claimed women are underrepresented in …